Happy Friday! As I type, snow is falling in Texas. Real life SNOW. It’s magical and distracting and just the perfect start to this weekend!

>> Friday Favorites<<

 1// Sugar by Maroon 5 // I downloaded this song last weekend, and it’s been on constant repeat ever since. Every time Taylor and I get in the car, it becomes a Maroon 5 karaoke free-for-all. (Of course if you were to ask him, he’d deny it till he was blue in the face.) This song is my current favorite jam, and the video is too cute for words. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2 // Nourished // A couple of weeks ago, I won this book in a giveaway hosted by the lovely Lisa of Two Martinis. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through, but I have enjoyed reading it SO MUCH. It’s thoughtful, and relatable, and it speaks right to my soul during these crazy hectic times. 

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3 // Favorite Foods of the Week // OH MAN have I eaten well this week. My top favorite meal has to be these hawaiian barbecue chicken taquitos that I whipped up last night for dinner. The recipe was quick and simple and that pineapple salsa is to die for!

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And coming in close second, yesterday for lunch I joined some coworkers for lunch at Bravo! where I had the most unbelievable chicken apple and bacon salad that I will be trying my best to recreate at home. Chicken + apple + bacon + pecans + gorgonzola = MY HEART SINGS.

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4 // Ice Volcano! // Our little Texas winter pales in comparison to what the rest of the country (and world for that matter) is experiencing. And this cool winter phenomenon is just another little reminder of that. 

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5 // Sydney’s Wedding Weekend // Today officially kicks off Sydney’s wedding weekend! I could not be more excited to celebrate with this beautiful bride!

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So what is your winter weather like right now? Anyone else have big weekend plans? Or do your plans include putting on sweatpants and making a seventh cup of coffee? I find all of these options respectable. 

Have a happy cozy weekend! 

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Monika

    Just added Nourished to my Amazon wish list! #intriguedReplyCancel

  • Mississippi winter weather can be explained in my first paragraph of my blog today (where I also mentioned you :)

    I have a 10 am bridal shower tomorrow morning. Buying Spanx afterwards considering my bridesmaids dress still does not zip all the way up (may have cried about that last night, may have).

    Then its a Saturday night dinner and a barre class on Sunday.ReplyCancel

  • Weekend plans are a beautiful blend of outdoors, Netflix, house cleaning and loads of coffee. Maybe making that salad because bacon. Have a great day!ReplyCancel

  • Mallory

    I lovvvvve Sugar by Maroon 5 too! It’s raining and below freezing down by SA.ReplyCancel

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There. I said it. I hate Twitter. I probably shouldn’t say it. It’s not something a blogger is supposed to say. Twitter is supposed to be my best friend. Twitter is supposed to help me expand my reach. Twitter is supposed to help me connect with other bloggers.  Blah blah blah blah blah. Heard it all before. And still, 

I hate Twitter. And here’s why.

In order to be good at Twitter, you have to be engaging. And in order to be engaging, you have to be on your phone ALL.THE.TIME. And I just can’t handle that. I don’t need another reason to spend my free time glued to a 4 inch screen. I deleted Facebook and Twitter awhile back, and it’s been so so great. Now the only apps I have on my phone are my banking app, The Weather Channel, Instagram, and an app that tracks my period. That’s it. And even still, I’m on my phone too much. 

I think I’d feel differently if I weren’t on the computer all day. I might feel differently if my work days didn’t zap me of all my energy. But the fact is, they do. And spending my evenings and my free time doing the same just doesn’t appeal to me. Because catching up on all that’s happened in the Twitterverse is exhausting. I just don’t like it. 

There’s also the fact that I spend a lot of my time griping at Taylor for being on his phone, so doing the same would make me a hypocrite. And I ain’t no hypocrite. Even though we spend most of our evenings and weekends glued to an even bigger screen, filling our brains with Criminal Minds and Parks & Rec, at least we’re engaging in conversation, or laughing at the same things. It might not actually be different, but it feels different. 

So even though I hate Twitter, I tweet my blog posts. I tweet my Instagram posts. I tweet things that make me laugh. And I occasionally interact with other people. But in general, I just don’t get much enjoyment out of it.

But I want to. I know the potential is there. In fact, Amber just wrote a great post a few weeks ago about how Twitter parties have enriched her blogging experience and expanded her following. I want that for myself. I want to be the person who is engaging and finds community in 140 characters, but I just don’t. At least not right now. 

So let’s talk Twitter. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you indifferent? Tell me how you feel in 140 characters or less.;)GO. 

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • I don’t hate Twitter, I just always forget about it! I too have my blogs and instas set up to auto-tweet, but that’s it! I’ll go follow you on Twitter and maybe we can get this engine revving… we just need a snappy hashtag :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha yes! It’s just like it’s ONE MORE THING to do. It’s hard to keep up!ReplyCancel

  • I guess my thing with Twitter is: I don’t feel confident. I don’t think my tweets (that are not scheduled) are that great and I typically just scroll mindlessly. Maybe it is about the people you follow? I know I should follow less materialistic people, but I love G. Rancic and E news.
    I don’t hate twitter and I don’t love twitter. Mostly because I know I have no twitter game/swag.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I follow a handful of bloggers and some funny accounts, but it just doesn’t do much for me!ReplyCancel

  • But lady, I found your blog through Twitter! My problem with twitter is I just don’t know what to say. “found a parking space!” isn’t really my style!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha yes! Totally feel the same way! I know Twitter is an AWESOME tool, and I’ve found a lot of great blogs through Twitter. It just requires a big time investment, and I feel like time is so precious! Especially when you make really wise choices about how to spend your time…like binge watching Scandal.ReplyCancel

  • Whoa you’re like REALLY mature. Way more mature than I am. Twitter is probably my favorite and I’m on it alllllll the time. It’s a time suck. A life suck. GOOD FOR YOU.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I know I WANT to be like you! I’m just not good at it!ReplyCancel

  • I can relate! While I have twitter and use it often, it can get overwhelming fast! But I agree with Amber, Twitter Parties are a lot of fun! I’ve been able to part take in two of them and actually won a $150 gift card, pretty great incentive. haha Twitter is just hard to navigate, it’s a love & hate type of relationship.

    http://www.vanessasrunway.comReplyCancel

  • I was very resistant to setting up a Twitter at first, for just these reasons! I don’t think of myself as a very talkative person, and I generally don’t feel the need to broadcast my opinions. That said, I recently started using Buffer, and it is a lifesaver!! I can load up a bunch of tweets all at once, share some interesting content, and then not feel like I have to be checking my phone every hour. I definitely recommend it! :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’ve never heard of Buffer! That sounds interesting! I need to check it out! Like I said, I see SO MUCH potential in Twitter, it’s just hard for me to actually apply it and get to work using it!ReplyCancel

  • NATALIE.
    WOW.
    1) Couldn’t have said it better myself.
    2) I’m glad I’m not the only one.
    3) YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING BLOGGER & WRITER.

    Expanding on #3: You have so many blogging/writing skills that I strive to work on myself, but just either do not practice enough or practice correctly, or do not give enough attention to. I love how you are personable, relatable, and funny. You poke at the “touchy” topics, yet don’t offend anyone. You’re real. You are also so kind: You share others’ work, give them credit. Heck, you even HYPERLINK to their work in the right way! (No “click here” links at NSB!)

    Anywho, sorry for being so stalker-ish, but I just HAVE to let you know. You rock.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Okay – you’re the NICEST. You honestly just made my day! I love linking to others’ work and would only hope someone else would be kind enough to do me the same favor. Thanks so much for your sweet words of encouragement. Readers like you are what keep me blogging!ReplyCancel

  • See and I love Twitter. But kind of like you hinted at, I’m not consistently engaging with other people. I use it when I want, and if I drop off mid-convo then sorry but it’s probably because my cats are being adorable and I forgot about Twitter. I do use it as my primary news source, so there’s that. …What app tracks your period? I need that because I can never remember when the gynecologist asks.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’M LAUGH CRYING AT YOU. Cause sorry my cats are being adorable. I got SUPER into Twitter when all the Ferguson drama was going on because it was just so much easier and more current to track what was happening and I found it SO interesting. So I definitely go through phases. And lezbehonest when I DO get on Twitter it’s just to tweet and you, Juliette, or Amber. And I’m already texting and snapchatting you hoes on a regular basis.

      The app I use is called Kindara and it tracks a million other things but there are five billion period trackers out there!ReplyCancel

  • I feel the same way. I had a Twitter account a few years ago (like 5) that I used frequently but then I just fell off. I made a new account recently after reading all these posts about how great it is for bloggers. It just overwhelms me, ever time I log on I feel like there’s 747484749 tweets I need to catch up on. I’m trying to limit my screen time as well, for lent I gave up using my phone/iPad in the evenings (so we can stare at the TV but whatever). What I’m trying to get at is #thetwitterstruggleisreal and also, should I be tracking my period? Because I’m not.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      YES. Catching up on a day’s worth (or even an hours worth) of newsfeed is IMPOSSIBLE unless you’re on your phone all day, which just generally sucks. And good for you and giving up screen time for Lent! That’s such a good one! At least it prevents mindless scrolling which is is the thief of my time!ReplyCancel

  • I mostly use twitter for tweeting out blog posts but wasn’t really into it…and then I got locked out of my account because my tweets seemed “suspicious”. I haven’t been able to tweet since, and now it’s all I can think about, hahaReplyCancel

  • Brittany ann

    Okay… Twitter. Where do I start? I JUST started a blog… more like a place to write down my thoughts BUT I prefer to read blogs. I have a twitter account. Hardly use it. To be honest, it confuses me. lolReplyCancel

  • It’s so funny I stumbled across this post because on Monday I shared a post about how to be better at Twitter! I totally hated it at first too.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha, whether you love it or hate it, blogging about Twitter is all the rage these days! I need to go check out your post!ReplyCancel

  • I could not agree more. Twitter has been the hardest tool for me to use since I started blogging, and I think its because it’s the only social media platform I never used prior to blogging. I tried it, but I never felt engaged enough to engaged others, and I never came across anything that inspired me to get involved in the conversation. And I totally agree that it takes SO MUCH more time than other platforms to get involved and engage!ReplyCancel

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It’s another icy day in Cowtown. The roads are covered, the citizens are stir-crazy, and I’m  sipping on my fourteenth cup of coffee in 24 hours. A very atypical Tuesday that calls for a little bit of a life update discussion. 

We could talk about Scandal. How I managed to digest three seasons in 8 days. How I now feel like my entire life is on the edge of a cliffhanger, and that everyone around me is full of deep dark secrets. And don’t even ask me how many times I googled “IS B613 REAL?!” 

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We could also talk about all the good choices I’ve made lately. And how I’m really putting my health first in 2015. Follow my lead, friends, follow my lead.

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We could talk about how late I am hopping on the Moscow Mule train. How those coppery cups make life magical. How I wrongfully criticized ginger beer and how I’d now like to formally apologize. 

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We could talk about how this girl will be in town in just a few days. How terribly I’ve missed her, and how anxious I am to smother her with love and affection and shallow best friend conversation. 

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We could discuss the emotional roller coaster that is home-buying. We could talk about how surreal it is go furniture shopping with a husband. How I keep thinking at any moment someone is going to pop around a corner and say, “SYKE! You’re not old enough for this nonsense!

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We could talk about a million things. So let’s do! Tell me what’s going on in your life. We’ll drink.We’ll chat. Tuesdays are good for that.

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • I don’t want to be a Debbie downer but this whole Ice storm/living at home still/parents driving me crazy/bridezilla driving me even crazier/not losing weight/etc is really making me sad face all of the time.

    I need a drink and to possibly start a group text with you, Linds, and Jules. (yes I made their names shorter because bloggers are socially acceptable creepers).ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      WINE HELPS TURN SAD FACES UPSIDE DOWN! Until the next morning when it doesnt…but do as I say not as I do :)ReplyCancel

  • Meagan

    We went furniture shopping this weekend! I hope your hubby was more enthusiastic about it than mine was! HahaReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha he has strong opinions on about three things in life, and comfy couches are one of them haha so it was quite the adventure.ReplyCancel

  • Rose

    YES! Moscow Mules are my favorite right now and thanks for making me crave one ;-)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I know! It’s going to be my summer drink of choices, I can just feel it!ReplyCancel

  • Claire

    The best decision I ever made was watching Scandal for the very first time. For reals.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      YES SO GOOD LIFE PERMANENTLY ENHANCED.ReplyCancel

  • Mallory

    I’m less than 2 months away from my wedding, I’ve been long distance from my fiancé for most of our relationship (almost 6 years) (can you say, I may go into shock when we get to actually live together ) I’m still in the process of finding a job in Corpus which is where he is. I’ve been living with my soon to be in laws for about 2 years now. And I’m just about done with all my post grad licensing hours…finally! I agree with you though, how I’m I old enough to be going through all these things. Annnd wine is on my list of coping strategies :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I’m dizzy just reading this! Drink up friend! :)ReplyCancel

  • Is season 3 the one that’s on tv right now? Because the current season is bugging me. And let’s discuss moscow mules because I had my first one with amber a couple of weeks ago and OH MY GOSH THEY ARE AMAZING I WANT ONE RIGHT NOW.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      SO REFRESHING. And season 4 is on right now. So basically I’ve caught up on all Netflix had to offer me which was seasons 1-3.ReplyCancel

  • I watched a bunch of episodes of The Bridge over the weekend, I really love that show! Although I have to say, you are getting me very interested in starting Scandal. :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Is that on Netflix?! Cause I’ve got some free time to kill now ;)ReplyCancel

  • Chels

    The roads are very drive-able now! I’m at work today. Lucky bastards that get to stay home again…so jelly!! Have a great day!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha, no worries, I’m at work today too, and was yesterday also, but at least I didn’t have to work full days and got to sleep in a little bit!ReplyCancel

  • I’m so glad you’ve jumped on the Olivia Pope train! Now you can experience the wonderous trifecta on Thursday nights on abc! Also, I just read your no-poo post, and I really need to jump on THAT bandwagon. Seriously, way to go sista!ReplyCancel

  • Okay, so I’ve recently binge watched all of Scandal too although I’m not caught up on Season 4 yet and I can’t even. It is SO GOOD! I went to Target awhile back in the middle of a pretty intense run I had going of back-to-back eps, and I felt so suspicious of everyone around me.
    Also, B613 is so crazy!
    ALSO Fitz & Olivia are making me feel like my relationship is lacking majorly in the passion dept because those two are just.. wow.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Haha I know, it makes me SO paranoid! And I go back and forth with how I feel about Fitz and Liv. Sometimes I feel like Fitz is such a BABY. And most times I just want him to throw ME up against a wall, lol! :)ReplyCancel

  • I want those gummy worms NOW and it’s not even 9am. Watch Blacklist next, it’s on Netflix. It’s our current binge obsession. Also, furniture shopping is overwhelming and makes my head hurt. When we move back to the states I’m going to need someone to do all of those things for me (for free) because making decisions is not my specialty.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Ugh I know too hard. JUST TOO HARD. Gummy worms are easy though.ReplyCancel

  • I always just want to comment on here and be like NONE OF THESE PEOPLE CAN KNOW YOU LIKE I DO but then I think, well, they might see her more… and then I’m like MUST MOVE BACK NOW. I miss you.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Just a tad bit dramatic today aren’t we?ReplyCancel

Happy Monday. Happy cold and icy Monday. I’m afraid all I have to show for this weekend is sixteen episodes of Scandal and I’m not even mad about it

So in lieu of a typical weekend recap, today I’m going to talk about my hair. And you’re going to sit there and pretend like you care. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good.

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It’s been six weeks since I took the no-poo plunge. Well, actually, more like six and a half, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s been six weeks of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and now it’s time to talk details.

DISCLAIMER: Nearly all the photos you are about to see were taken in the wee hours of the morning. That means you’re about to be exposed to a lot of no-makeup mirror pics that showcase a very dirty bathroom. You’ve been warned.

I originally decided to give no-poo a whirl after this girl posted about deciding to take the plunge herself. I did some serious Googling. (This website and this blog were the two resources I found most helpful.)  I’m no scientist, but the idea seemed plausible. I’ve always had very thick, dry, and coarse hair. It’s hard to manage and slow to grow and a real pain in the ass most days. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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What I do: Take about a half a tablespoon of baking soda, and mix with a little water. Usually about a cup. Some people put the baking soda directly in their hand with just a splash of water to make a paste. I tried that once, but it felt a little gritty and less clean, so I went back to my old method. For “conditioner,” I just use a 1/1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water. I usually do a cup of each. I keep it in a squirt bottle and only use about 1/3 of that mixture at a time.

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The first week is supposed to be one of the toughest, but my hair reacted really well. In order to get your hair through the “withdrawl phase,” you’re supposed to wait as long as you can in between washes. I also started brushing my hair multiple times a day to distribute all the oils. I made it seven days until my second wash. I think I only ran twice, and I just rinsed my hair thoroughly with water afterwards. I felt a little grimy, but it actually looked better than I’d expected.

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The second week was a little tougher. I started figuring out that my unwashed hair was a lot easier to hide when it was curled, as opposed to wearing it straight. Oops. Lesson learned the hard way. But I made it another seven days. This photo was taken right before my next wash.

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Week three felt like I was getting into a bit of a groove. My hair was adjusting well, and styling pretty easily. After a particularly gross and sweaty run, I decided to try an egg yolk wash in between BS/ACV washes. It didn’t give me near as much of a clean feeling, but it did make my hair very soft and shiny.  

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I don’t remember much of anything from week four. At this point it was mostly good hair days, and a little bit of an itchy scalp. 

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Week five was a ditto to week four. But I did think it would be fun to include this picture of my hair au natural after a wash. Still a little bit crazy, but a lot more relaxed and much softer than before going no-poo.

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And this photo is from last week, about three days after a wash.

PROs: My  hair is growing. Noticeably faster than it ever has before. It’s softer, less tangled, and generally lower maintenance.

CONs: The only negative reaction I would say I’ve had is a little bit of a dry scalp. According to some no-poo experts, this could be part of the detoxing phase. Or could just be that I have a dry scalp. I usually go through dry scalp phases a few times a year and I honestly think this little personal experiment may have just coincided with that. 

What’s worked for me: Brushing my hair every day. It seems to make a world of difference. I brush a minimum of twice a day (morning and evening) but if I happen to be hanging out at home, I’ll brush my hair every few hours.

More info: I did have a cheat day. One morning I woke up way, way past my alarm, and I desperately needed a shower and I honestly just forgot to bring my BS/ACV supplies into the bathroom. So I showered quickly with a little bit of Dove shampoo and honestly didn’t even think about it until I got to work. My hair didn’t seem to react negatively to that one slip up, so all in all, not too big of a deal.

Taylor originally hated the apple cider vinegar smell. For those first and second washes, He whined and whined, and I enjoyed having the couch all to myself because he couldn’t stand it. He hasn’t really complained since then. So he’s either gotten used to it, or gotten tired of complaining. When my hair dries, the smell goes away, so it never bothered me.

I’ve really, really cut down on heat and products. This could also be one reason why my hair seems to have improved. But when I am no-poo, it’s like I just don’t have to try as hard to get my hair to do what I want. If I go to bed with curls, I wake up with them almost entirely in tact. I don’t think I’ve blow dried my hair except for once or twice in the past six weeks, and letting it dry naturally has seemed to work best.

Also, along the line of disclaimers – I can’t really speak to how this fits into working out regularly. Because to be honest, I can probably count on two hands the amount of runs and times I’ve exercised in 2015. It hasn’t been consistent, and even when it occurs, it hasn’t been intense. I’ve been busy and lazy and just haven’t been working out, so no-poo has been easy. If I was working out more, I’d probably be supplementing with dry shampoo and maybe tossing in an extra wash every now and again.

I’m now to the point where I’m washing about every 5-7 days. Usually, if I make it to seven, the last day or two involve pony tails, or something of the messy bun variety.

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So altogether, my experience with no-poo has been great. And I have no intention of going back to regular shampoo any time soon.

So what questions do you have? Has anyone else ever given no-poo a try? What are your thoughts?

LOVE&HUGS,

Nat

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  • Very interesting! I have not tried it, but have looked into it.. The only part that worries me is that I already have a dry/itchy scalp so not sure how that would work out. I currently only use shampoo/conditioner with no sulfates, no parabens etc. so not sure if I need to switch, but I skways like trying different things. After it dries and you run your hands through, does it feel a little dirtier than before?ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      After it dries it actually feels very light and clean, just a different kind of clean! I definitely understand your concern with dry scalp. Mine hasnt’ been unbearable at all, and really hasnt been anything more than a typical seasonal dry scalp, so it hasn’t been too much of a big deal. But everyone reacts differently!ReplyCancel

  • You make me want to try this, you really do. But I feel like you and Juliette both have similar hair textures – course and with some natural curl or wave. I wonder how this would work for me – my hair is thick, but it’s fine in texture and flatter than my chest. But curious Lindsay is curious…ReplyCancel

  • Wow, washing only every 5-7 days, that’s amazing! Thanks for sharing the reality of going no-poo!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It’s definitely easier than every day or even every OTHER day. I just hate doing my hair, so it’s been great for me, and it’s held style so much better!ReplyCancel

  • You look great no matter how your hair is styled and/or washed. I WISH I had thick, coarse hair on top of my head but alas, I do not. Thank you for the update on no-poo. I may never take the plunge, but it’s nice to know it works for people with thick hair. :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      It’s definitely interesting! And I’m not saying I’m going to do this every day for the rest of my life, but it is nice to realize my hair isn’t as high maintenance as I always thought itwas !ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey H.

    I have contemplated no-poo for a while but was never really sure about the practicality of it. It also may have had something to do with every girl I read about had stick straight, thin hair and that just ain’t me. My hair is a curly, frizzy, dry mess.

    How do you make sure you evenly distribute the BS/ACV since there’s no lather like regular shampoo?

    Thanks for giving a real look at no shampoo!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      I mix it with about a cup of water and just pour it over my head in different spots. I can usually tell the places where it’s reached becaues the water is colder. And as for the ACV, I usually just do it a little over the top of my head but focus more on the ends, so I just squirt it directly on there. It’s not a perfected science, but I figured it out!ReplyCancel

  • Caitie

    Your hair looks so great! There are also groups on facebook that help troubleshoot as well. They have tons of files on different washes, conditioning options, additives, etc. It’s kind of a rabbit hole of sorts–I never knew how much people were into it.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh I need to get those groups out! Those would have been super helpful inthe beginning.ReplyCancel

  • Jordan Schrock

    I tried the no-poo method for about a month and just couldn’t do it. I think there were two problems for me: 1. I have super fine, straight and naturally very blonde hair.
    2. The water in my area is SUPER hard.

    My hair just never seemed to get “clean” and after a day you could see the oil in my blonde hair. I think because of the hard water I still had a build up on my hair that the BS/ACV just couldnt get rid of. I didn’t want to give up on going chemical free so I managed to find a site that sold natural shampoo bars that are made from different oils. It took a few days to transition to that but I absolutely LOVE it. My hair finally feels clean and soft and actually has some volume! They also have a lot of other great natural body products. HIGHLY suggested to anyone that wants to get rid of the chemicals but still have something to wash with.

    (http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Awesome, I need to check those out! I can definitely understand how it wouldnt be right for all hair types, but it’s worked pretty well for me!ReplyCancel

  • your no poo update is so much better than my no poo update. i’ve been using the same ratio of acv as i do with the baking soda but after reading this i’m going to try your method and see what happens and if you’re lucky i’ll let you know.ReplyCancel

  • ohhhh this was really interesting to read! your hair looks amazing. i am going to do more research on people that have naturally curly hair because the only time i brush my hair is right after a shower otherwise i look like a straight up poodle with no turning back.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      My hair used to be the same way! I think I either damaged the curl out of it or it just changed as I got older. My hair was like ringlet curls up until I was about 18!ReplyCancel

We’re almost to the end of what, for me, has been a very long and tiresome week. Anyone else? Can I get an amen?
 
So this morning, I poured my cup of coffee, and I sat down at the computer, as usual, to make my way through the dozens of posts on my blog roll. Some I smile at, some I roll my eyes at, some I giggle at, some I find boring, some I find interesting. But most of them, above all, I find intimidating.
 
You know them. I know them. The bloggers whose lives are PERFECT.  Immaculately decorated home that could put Pinterest itself to shame? Check. Smokin’ hot husband? Oh yes. Flawless baby bump? You betcha. Bad hair days? Unheard of.
 
And I sigh. At the corner of my 800 square foot apartment where the Christmas tree is still in tact. At the husband who’s not here because he’s off being someone else’s hero. At the flabby belly and squishy legs that haven’t hit the pavement in weeks. At the dirty hair that desperately needs a haircut. And at the fact that all this sighing has now made me late for work.
 
This is what I do. This is how I’ve chosen to start my day. 
 
The internet is HARD. Really really hard. Sometimes the blog world reads like one giant cyber-competition. A unspoken contest of whose home is more beautiful, who has run further and faster, who’s made more homemade pies, perfected every ounce of their marriage, and somehow found time to blog about it all.
 
Maybe that’s their reality. But it’s not mine. And it’s just not encouraging. At least not right now. And if I’m not in a place where I can scroll through without jealousy, I probably have no business clicking in the first place, right?
 
So why do I keep clicking? Why do I keep coming back? Why do I keep following these blogs that (through no fault of their own) do nothing but make me feel inadequate? 
 
I don’t have an answer. So I click again. And I hold my breath. I wish silently for weakness, and hope for authenticity. Just a sliver of reality. Just a hint of assurance that says, “I’m just like you.” 
 
Some days I find it. Some days I stumble upon something this girl said that made me giggle, or something this girl said that made me cry, or something that this girl said that inspired me. 
 
They’re there. You’ll find them. You might just have to dig a little deeper. 
 
I guess what I’m saying is that I hope I can be that for you. I hope you find common ground between us. But if not, that’s okay. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, don’t click. Don’t spend one more second of your time not being encouraged, or thinking that you’re not good enough, or thinking that your life less than what the internet defines as “enough.” 
 
I love you all in a weird, unexplainable, internet way.
 
LOVE&HUGS,
 
Nat
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  • well, this is real. your blog’s a good one, I visit everyday at work (where I am sometimes up to 30 minutes late, it happens) and all of this is relatable. good read.ReplyCancel

  • Don’t even get me started on the undeniable cuteness of baby bumps and how sure I’m not going to be looking quite so adorable when a bump graces my body.

    Girl, you’re adorbs. Far richer than any website can give you credit for. (Or that any highlight reel of another person’s website can give them.) But what do I know? :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      THE BABY BUMPS. I’ve got about 75 pounds to lose if I want to have the tiny perfect bump look while pregnant.ReplyCancel

  • I am right there with you. Sometimes everything even on Instagram feels so perfect and my life is not like that at all. This post says it all. Our lives are our own. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • YOU! such a great post. After reading about your running adventures, I have decided to get back into running and run more often – so thank YOU!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh that’s so great! As I sit here not having run yet this week :/ReplyCancel

  • Chels

    I don’t do ‘hate reads’…I think it’s meaningless to compare your life with another blogger. I mean, this person is a stranger who is only putting what THEY WANT YOU TO SEE on the internet. I do love reading your blog though because you know about some cool spots in DFW (where I live) and you are fun and funny and interesting!!ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      So true so true! Thanks for your thoughts! :)ReplyCancel

  • Mallory

    It’s a tangled web we weave when we compare ourselves to others. I’ve found that there are some people I have to unfollow or hide because I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. I’ve learned that we have to be ourselves biggest cheerleader sometimes and that also means not allowing ourselves to wander around thinking “well what if I were like that?” You have to put happy in to get happy out. So read and look at things that inspire, uplift, and motivate you.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Agree! I definitely need to be more intentional with how I spend my “blogging time”ReplyCancel

  • KC

    I don’t even have a blog, but I loveeee reading yours every day! Thanks for being real. :)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      Oh you’re TOO nice. Thanks so much for reading!ReplyCancel

  • This is the absolutely TRUTH, and it’s really encouraging to me. I appreciate blogs that don’t sugar coat everything way more than the ones that are too perfect. Also we still have our stockings hung on Keith’s mantle so I’M JUST LIKE YOU (see what I did there?)ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      LISTEN THIS IS WHY WE ARE FRIENDS.ReplyCancel

  • Preach. It’s all too true. And I think we’ve all been there and felt the same way! Err’day.ReplyCancel

  • Lady lady! I just don’t follow them. Before I started blogging I read blogs so that I could beef up my pinterest, but soon my pinterest just wasn’t me anymore – it was a fantasy world of life I’d always compare mine to and fall drastically short of.

    Then I started to find the genuine ones, the ones I could see myself hanging out with, the ones who have traveled all the way to my town to see me and the ones I get real-life snail mail letters from just because they’re thinking of me. Those are the blogs to read first thing in the morning. Those are the bloggers you can count on to be your ride or die. Those are the bloggers you can nervously tell your real life friends about because you just “get” each other.

    Save those “perfect” blogs for your weekend fodder. <3 :)ReplyCancel

  • This is why I like your blog so much, you are real and it’s not always unicorns and rainbows. I often feel the envy when I read other people’s blogs, but I kind of think it’s not believable. no one is THAT perfect all the time.ReplyCancel

  • I remember the first time I stumbled across your blog from HRG. I read one post and I was hooked. Not sure if it was from your witty sarcasm (#itsfineimfine), or the beautiful faces of friendship you share with your people or what, but I loved it. I love your blog and your life your building and I can’t wait to see how you progress in the future.
    I think we all forget sometimes how much good is in our own lives when we keep looking at everyone else’s. I think that’s the problem with social media – it’s supposed to be social but the more I look the less I want to communicate with others because I don’t feel like I’m on the same playing field of life as them.
    I know exactly what you mean by this post and a definite AMEN on one of the longest, most trying weeks ever. Dear February, I’m over you.ReplyCancel

    • your life YOU’RE building.
      Making my own grammar mistakes, yikes.ReplyCancel

      • natalie

        Hahaha, it’s Thursday. Mistakes are allowed :)ReplyCancel

  • Lyndsey Williams

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • I feel the exact same way. I love reading blogs, but sometimes they do make it hard not to compare yourself and wonder if you measure up. Your blog always brings a smile to my face though!ReplyCancel

  • Unfortunately I have been feeling the same way. So lately as muhc as I love the bloggers I’ve read in the past, the perfect ones – I had to delete them off my reader. I felt like I was comparing myself so hard to them. And I shouldn’t. Because we all know they have bad days too. They just don’t post about them.

    Most of my days are filled with being alone in the house with my little dog. Sure I show pictures of (partial) bits of the house looking absolutely perfect and decorated to my taste but for the most part the house is a wreck (two TV boxes laying against the couch + my husbands stank workout clothes spewn all over the couches) and here I am un-showered, with no makeup on and also in need of a hair cut. I’m so attractive.

    I’m not sure what happened but I used to be so up on the blogging – but now I feel like it’s a chore to keep posts “great”. I think I need a break.

    I’m not liking the secret cyber competition either. So I’ve decided to only keep the blogs I like reading, the one’s that make me smile. Not make me cringe and say “hey how come I didn’t get invited to THAT”, anymore.ReplyCancel

  • I’d rather hang out and eat burgers and drink wine with a girl who still has her Christmas tree up than the girl with the picture-perfect life any and every day of the week. Because not only is she awesome and brilliant and funny as hell, she’s real. PS speaking of, when are we hanging out again?ReplyCancel

  • I know exactly what you mean. That’s what I love about your blog, you are real. I have unfollowed quite a few blogs recently that left me feeling jealous or inadequate. If it makes you feel better- there’s a cyclone outside, water leaking all over our master bedroom and I have yet to put on clothes (or even deodorant) all day. I’m really pretty right now.ReplyCancel

  • This post really hit home for me. I completely agree that reading all of the “perfect life” blogs can be a downer sometimes. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I love how real you are and that I can relate to a lot of your posts! I also appreciate the links to some new blogs/blog friends that I can connect with :) I’m working on a blog re-launch and I’ve spent a lot of time these past few weeks figuring out what type of blogger I want to be and what I’m willing to share. I love that my life isn’t perfect and that things go wrong and I have to overcome challenges. I’m excited to share all of those things, along with the happy and exciting things, in my little corner of the internet. I’m glad there are other people who have the same brainwaves that I do.ReplyCancel

  • Love this. And totally get it. Some people are able to follow a training plan t a T and then come home and make a healthy from scratch dinner. It’s inspiring, but not so relatable and can make you feel totally defeated.ReplyCancel

  • oh yeah it can definitely be intimidating and frustrating. but i just remind myself that no one’s real life is as perfect as their blog life might look!ReplyCancel

  • don’t let the internet beat you down. i happen to think you’re doing amazing. (because i matter, right? right.) just look at that ridiculously amazing post you wrote about that hubs of yours. six years of amazingness right there. a lot of people wish they had that in their life. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    This was a wonderful read, well written and with such true words. It’s so hard not to compare yourself to what appears to be perfect lives in the Internet world. Even though you know it’s probably not perfect, it’s so hard to step back and take a moment to be grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life when it appears everyone else’s is perfect. Your blog always makes me smile, and I believe that through your words you can see your zest for life. Keep on doing what you’re doing, try to recognize the wonderfulness that is you and your life, and look around blogs/Instagram/Facebook/a billion other forms of social media to keep you happy, maybe make you think and cry a little bit, and to keep you informed, but never to make you feel like you are less. Thank you for your wonderful blog and this oh so true post!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Arriaga

    Before I even got to the last paragraph, the part where you write, “Some days I find it. Some days I stumble upon something this girl said that made me giggle, or something this girl said that made me cry, or something that this girl said that inspired me.” rang true about your writing for me. Since meeting you and stumbling upon your blog, thanks to Facebook, there hasn’t been one piece you’ve written that hasn’t done at least one of those three if not all of those three. What’s even better is how truthful and sincerely your writing is. Life is imperfectly beautiful and to find humor and wisdom in it, I believe, is the mark of true success. Again, thank you for sharing, making me laugh, cry, and feel inspired.ReplyCancel

    • natalie

      You are seriously the sweetest. It makes me feel SO good knowing that there are other people out there having the same thoughts as me! SO glad you’ve stuck around :)ReplyCancel

  • Nobody’s life is perfect. When I get jealous, I find comfort in convincing myself that the ones who try to portray themselves and their lives as perfect are lying pretentious bitches. :)ReplyCancel